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Why Salesforce’s Trailhead is My New Best Friend


Salesforce Related
It’s been two long months since I last went on a Salesforce ‘Trail’ and I am guilty of prioritising far too many things above it. But just like Hansel and Gretel were tempted, I too have been lured back to Trailhead to accept the challenge for my illustrious second badge. Here’s my experiences of Salesforce’s Trailhead training resource and what you need to brush up on if considering going on an aptly dubbed ‘Trail’.

Data Modeling

I am prone to the occasional panic so when the words ‘Data Modeling’ stared at me, all brazen, I was concerned. What could a humble Marketer like me know about Data Modeling? The answer, however, is that you don’t need to know anything regardless of what your role is. The modules are all written in plain English (no ‘techie’ talk that looks alien to us) and they guide you through everything step by step. When I opened up the first module, it felt good to be back.

Understanding Custom and Standard Objects

The words ‘Custom Objects’ and ‘Standard Objects’ aren’t a foreign concept to me but having the ability to dig a little deeper gave me the confidence to use the information in new context. Here are my definitions: Standard Object – All the good stuff that Salesforce know we need i.e. Accounts and Contacts Custom Object – New Objects that we want in Salesforce to store vital information that we can create for ourselves i.e. Invoices This might all sound very basic but time and time again, Salesforce Users become increasingly confused with what each element of Salesforce actually does. Even if they have an understanding, sometimes they can’t provide you with an example. There’s no harm in jumping onto Trailhead and giving yourself a quick refresher and earning yourself a very funky looking badge in the process. Further down the module came Custom Fields and Relationship Fields with the whole ‘Lookup’ and ‘Master-Detail’ situation – it brought a whole new meaning to ‘Parent’ and ‘Child’ relationships!

Working with Schema Builder in Trailhead

I’m not afraid to say that I’d never heard of Schema Builder until it became my opponent in my Trailhead challenge. However, the first line immediately settled any bubbling nerves with a simplistic ‘Schema Builder provides a dynamic environment for viewing and modifying all the objects and relationships in your app’ – definition signed, sealed and delivered! The module tackles how to create Objects with Schema Builder and in turn, how to delete objects. Then, the inevitable quiz questions. This was one of the harder modules that I’ve taken with a couple of ambiguous answers but luckily, after ten minutes or so of eyeing up each individual answer, I got a very fortunate 100%.

Create Custom Objects and Fields

This is where the word ‘Trail’ is most appropriate – they held my hand a little through the first module of understanding Custom Objects, now they want me to build them. It’s all very exciting when you tap into your Developer org and get working like you’re a fully fledged techie in the midst of building the new Google (or Candy Crush). With a couple of handy Use Cases and a demo video thrown into the mix, it was far easier to digest than a simple ‘Create a Custom Object by doing X, Y and X’. When it got to the challenge, it asks you to ‘create a Custom Object with a few Custom Fields’ and goes on to describe exactly what they want and how they want it. To see the words ‘Text Area (Long)’ and ‘a resulting API name of ‘Distance_ _c’ was daunting but once I’d dived it, it all became very easy. Say hello to my ‘Trail’ Custom Object!

Create Object Relationships

The final module was exactly what it said on the label – learn how to create Object Relationships. As I’ve come to realise, it’s not as easy as just ‘Hey, I’ve created an Object Relationship’. You have to first understand the differences between Lookup and Master-Detail relationships and what a Many-to-many Relationship is. After guiding me through the essentials, they put my knowledge to the test and asked me to build a custom Schema with the details that they require. The list of what they needed was a lengthy one so I rolled up my sleeves and got to Salesforce business. Ten minutes later and I was staring at my beautiful Schema, displayed all proudly on my screen like we had a Parent-child relationship (see what I did there!).

My Second Trailhead Badge

Then it happened – my second badge popped up on my screen all big and congratulatory and once again, I let out a little squeal of delight and some small (almost miniature) claps. I never thought that Trailhead would be that useful to me but I’ve now suggested that our entire team utilize it because I’ve learnt far more in two sections of the course than I have for months learning alone. Good luck to all Trailheaders out there!  
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Katrina Holmes

Hey, I'm the Content Manager at Ebsta responsible for creating and maintaining our web content, blogs and our hip 'n' happening social media presence.

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